As I wrote in a recent post, there is a fantastic new wine store in DC. Weygandt Wines is owned by Peter Weygandt and Todd Ross. Peter Weygandt has been an importer of wines for 20 years with Weygandt Metzler. I went back to the store for another visit yesterday and was surprised to see Peter Weygandt at the store. I was even more surprised by how friendly and personable he was. Peter chatted with me about the store and helped me pick out some wines — he was extremely approachable, modest, sincere and generous with his time and knowledge. It was a real delight to spend some time with him.
I’ve tasted a few of the wines I purchased from Weygandt Wines. My favorites were both from Les Aphillanthes. There are a number of cuvées produced at Les Aphillanthes. I selected three of the cuvées from the six of seven wines from Les Asphillanthes.
The “Cuvée des Galets” is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre, from yields of only 20-22 hl/ha (less than half of what he is allowed to produce). Bright ruby red. The Grenache really shines on the nose. Cherry, strawberry and violet wrapped in meaty, gamey and peppery notes. On the palate, black cherry, strawberry and cranberry with pepper, herbs and bacon fat. Structured with silky, chalk-edged tannins — and a little chewy. Solid finish. 14.5% alcohol.
Perhaps even better than the Galets is the “Cuvée 3 Cepages” of equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Darker ruby in color with cherry and violet with some cassis, pepper and garrigue. On the palate, cherry and dried cranberry with licorice, rare meat, earthy and floral notes. The 3 Cepages has a bit more impact with a little more acidity and tannins than the Galets — as well as a more pronounced and persistent finish. 14.5% alcohol.
Both wines would be on my list of favorite Côtes du Rhônes from 2007. Strongly recommended.
About Les Aphillanthes
Prior to 1999, Daniel Boulle and his wife Helene sold all of their fruit the local co-operative. Friends and colleagues saw that his fruit was of superb quality, and convinced Daniel and Helen it deserved to be bottled as it stood, rather than absorbed into the wines of the local co-op. Domaine Les Aphillanthes was born and today is a rising star of the southern Rhône.
Boulle sees himself as a vigneron rather than a winemaker and he applies minimal intervention in the winery. Recently Boulle has introduced biodynamic practices to the vineyard. Boulle was encouraged in this new practice not by contact with other followers of biodynamic principles, but by a success in treating his own son’s eczema using natural medical products which Boulle likens to a biodynamic approach. In the winery, Boulle transports the wine using gravity feed, and ferments in concrete vats. The wines are bottled without filtration.
Favorites from Côtes du Rhône 2007
Domaine Gramenon Sierra du Sud
Domaine Gramenon La Sagesse Côtes du Rhône
Domaine Gramenon Les Laurentides Côtes du Rhône
Les Aphillanthes Côtes du Rhône
Domaine Richaud Côtes du Rhône-Villages-Cairanne
Domaine Richaud Côtes du Rhône Terres de Galets
Escaravailles Côtes du Rhône